Tuesday, May 3, 2016

And Then There Was One...

Let's jump the gun and predict that Donald Trump wins the Indiana Republican primary today. The writing has been on the wall for several days.

So why does Ted Cruz lose? After all, Cruz invented the anti-Washington meme this time around, and took the arrows in the chest for his out-front courage. And he has a fully-developed program behind his program, including a cunning tax program that takes the payroll tax off the people and puts it on business, so that there is no percentage any more in hiring people off the books.

The reason for his failure, I think, is that Ted Cruz lacks the common touch. He is a total brainiac that can't really talk like the guy next to you in the bar.

And that means that Ted Cruz fails the "cares about people like me" test. You may not like Donald Trump and his insults and his bluster, but the fact is that the Trumpsters feel that Trump cares about people like them. And if you listen to Trump at one of his rallies, he presents himself as taking his supporters into his confidence.

The fact is that political leaders are always leading people into the unknown and, like army leaders, they are often leading them to their deaths. So people need to have faith in their leaders. Even the leaders that lead them to their deaths. Especially the leaders that lead them to their deaths. Who knows where Trump will lead us.

A lot of people look down on the Trump campaign. In particular they hate its amateurism and its lack of a coherent ten point program to solve America's ills, and Trump's lack of political experience. All true.

But Trump has done something that no Republican has done in my lifetime. He does not tiptoe.

You know what I mean. Every Republican, and every conservative, is timid, conscious about walking in a minefield. You never know when you will step on a landmine, committing sacrilege against some liberal holy relic. And then your career is over. So you tiptoe around sensitive political topics for fear that you will end up being sent to Outer Slobbovia as a racist, sexist, homophobe. David French writes about how this applies to all of us in "Individual Cowardice."

The trouble about timid leadership is that it does not inspire people to follow. And even Ted Cruz is careful to avoid stepping on liberal landmines.

But Donald Trump, by hook or by crook, has managed to violate all the canards of liberal holy writ and live to tell the tale. And what does not kill me makes me stronger, especially to my supporters.

So, does Donald Trump win the Republican nomination to lead the party to almost certain defeat, allowing Hillary Clinton to put a liberal majority on the Supreme Court and implement single-payer health care?

Or does he confound the experts for another six months and win the election in November?

We don't know.

But we do know this. The conservative strategy of the last generation of developing good policy ideas to counter the ceaseless liberal push for big government has failed. And it has failed because the liberal cultural hegemony has always given liberals the cultural power to marginalize conservative ideas and policy. Nothing will happen, nothing can happen, until conservative cultural forces can win the hearts and minds of Americans away from the current liberal cultural offensive.

Of course, Donald Trump is going to be no help at all on that front, because culturally he is middle-of-the-road. But he makes a contribution. He shows how to push back tactically against the liberal behemoth.

It is up to the rest of us to develop the world view and the strategy that can actually push the liberal cultural juggernaut to the side of the road and advance the idea that cultural power and political power and government power should be limited.

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